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Potomac sweeps Mudcats with 7-5 victory

Potomac sweeps Mudcats with 7-5 victory
June 23, 2013
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POTOMAC – Looking to avoid a sweep to open the second half of the season, the Carolina Mudcats kept the game close early, but fell behind and eventually fell to the Potomac Nationals 7-5 on Sunday night.  The sweep drops Carolina’s record to 0-3 in the second half and 22-51 overall.

Making his eighth start for the Mudcats, right hander Nick Pasquale struggled from the beginning.  Pasquale’s final line was 4.2 innings, 10 hits and seven runs, all earned.  Pasquale also walked three batters.  Pasquale was handed the loss, dropping him to 0-5 as a Mudcat. 

Offensively, the Mudcats were led by shortstop Francisco Lindor who went 3-5 and scored two runs.  Second baseman Joey Wendle went 2-4, scoring two runs and had two RBIs and hit a monster home run in the third inning. 

Carolina jumped on the board early by scoring two runs in the first inning.  Lindor singled for the first hit of the game, but was picked off of first base almost immediately.  With two outs, second baseman Joey Wendle singled to center field.  First baseman Jerrud Sabourin singled and right fielder Jordan Smith singled to load the bases.  Left fielder Bo Greenwell followed with a two-RBI single to give the Mudcats the early lead.

Potomac answered in the bottom half of the first inning.  Pasquale loaded the bases with one out on four hits and a walk, and paid for it.  Two straight singles brought home two early runs for the Nationals, and the bases stayed loaded.  However, Pasquale escaped the jam on an inning ending double play to keep the score tied after the first inning.

The Mudcats got right back to work on offense in the second inning with a leadoff single by designated hitter Bryson Myles.  Myles stole his fifth base of the season to move into scoring position.  However that is all of the offense Carolina would manage as third baseman Zack MacPhee flew out for the first out, and center fielder Tyler Naquin hit into an inning ending double play.

Carolina was able to regain the lead in the third inning after Lindor walked, and Wendle crushed a two-run home run to right field.

The Mudcats allowed the Nationals to tie the game again in the bottom of the third, just like they did in the first inning.  Back-to-back doubles and a single allowed two runs to score, and tie the game.

Myles and MacPhee walked to open the fourth inning.  Naquin reached on a fielder’s choice, as MacPhee was out at second.  Lindor lined out to second base, and Naquin was picked off of first base to end the threat and the inning.

Pasquale breezed through the fourth inning, and quickly got the first two outs of the fifth inning, but then things took a turn for the worse.  A walk and an infield single put two runners on with two outs, and a three-run home run gave the Nationals their first lead of the night.

Right hander Grant Sides replaced Pasquale with two outs in the fifth inning, and quickly got the final out of the inning. 

Carolina began to cut away at the lead in the seventh inning as Lindor led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch.  Sabourin singled to put runners on the corners with one out, and Smith followed with an RBI single to bring the Mudcats within two.  With two on and two out, catcher Tony Wolters crushed a ball to center field, but a diving catch by Nationals center fielder Billy Burns robbed him of a hit and ended the inning.

Carolina attempted to rally again in the eighth inning as Myles led off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch.  With one out Naquin walked, but two outs ended the inning without advancing the runners. 

Right hander Jeff Johnson replaced Sides in the eighth inning after a strong outing.  Sides’ pitched 2.1 innings and didn’t allow a hit or a run and only walked one batter.

Johnson was able to get out of a jam with two on and two out in the eighth inning to prevent the Nationals from expanding their lead.

Sabourin walked to lead off the ninth inning, and advanced to second base on a single by Greenwell.  However, neither would score as Wolters lined into a game ending double play.

Carolina returns home on Monday to begin a four game series against the Frederick Keys.  Cody Anderson gets the start for the Mudcats as the team looks for their first win of the second half.  First pitch scheduled for 7:15.

Zachary is a senior at NC State where he is majoring in communication-media, with minors in journalism and theatre.  You can follow him on Twitter @RealZachFrancis.

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